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Anno Tertio Georgii III. Regis. Cap. XVI. An Act for the Encouragement of John Harrison, to publish and make known his Invention of a Machine or Watch, for the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea [drop title] in: Anno Regni Georgii III Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ. At the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster, the Nineteenth Day of May, Anno Dom. 1761, in the First Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third . And from thence continued by several Prorogations to the Twenty fifth Day of November, 1762; being the Second Session of the Twelfth Parliament of Great Britain.
London: Printed by Mark Baskett, Printer to the King’s most Excellent Majesty; and by the Assigns of Robert Baskett. 1763 - First edition. Folio. pp. [ii], 359-363, [1, blank]; eng. crest to title-page, decorative initial to p. 359; minor age-toning, else very good in self-wrappers, recently resewn, now contained in a purpose made cloth portfolio with acid-free hand-made paper fold-ins, leather lettering piece to upper board, ribbon ties. First edition of the 18th century British Parliamentary Act encouraging publication of the details of any mechanical machines for the discovery of longitude at sea, and limiting financial rewards to inventor John Harrison. In 1714, the British Parliament offered £20,000, to the person who devised a means of accurately determining longitude at sea. John Harrison, a clockmaker without formal education, developed friction-free mechanical clocks that were unaffected by changes in temperature or movement, and which were extremely accurate. The first of Harrison’s devices was successfully tested in 1735 and three other more accurate models were created over the next four decades. Though his device was clearly accurate and sea-worthy, Harrison was awarded only half of the promised prize; this present Act, and an Act published two years later, were the closest Harrison came to official Parliamentary recognition of his singular contribution to navigation and cartography. This copy is from the Sessional Volumes of Parliament, the earliest official printing available. Acts printed prior to 1796 are extremely scarce, since the maximum number printed “only slightly exceeded 1,100 copies,” and those were distributed solely to Members of the Houses of Parliament, the great officers and offices of state, and the judiciary (see Report of the Committee for the Promulgation of the Statutes, 1796). [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Meridian Rare Books PBFA]
Last Found On: 2016-05-07           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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